Emergent Task Planner (Free version) 2010 Updates

Emergent Task Planner (Free version) 2010 Updates

Emergent Task Planner Updates The most current version of this form is available here

Plan your day as it happens

The Emergent Task Planner (or ETP) is a Daily Planning Sheet that provides a way for you to lightly structure your day. By helping you visualize the time you have, you can get a sense of just how much work you can get done done. The ETP borrows some of the task planning methodology from the Task Progress Tracker to reinforce one idea: it’s hard to get anything done on purpose when there are so many distractions. The ETP provides space for noting down the unexpected while keeping your big-picture tasks in view.

The 2010 edition is based on last year’s pre-printed pad design, which is now available on Amazon.com for ordering. The free downloadable versions are available in black and white, blue, and green, in both US Letter (8.5×11) and International A4 sizes.

If you have any other form variation requests or miss an older version, let me know and I’ll dig it up for you.

Download 2010 Emergent Task Planner Printable Forms

8.5 x 11 inch Letter

A4 International

Note: For some reason, some Macs have trouble displaying the colors, but they will print correctly. If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, I think the issue goes away.

For information about the Emergent Task Planner, the original post describes each design feature in greater detail.

Or Save Your Expensive Printer Ink

You can now buy high quality offset-printed pads of 75 sheets, using the new blue and orange color scheme, on Amazon.com. And yes, you can take advantage of that Amazon Super Saver Shipping when you buy more than $25 of stuff from them. Check it out! Your purchase helps me spend more time blogging and designing about productivity, and I appreciate it!


  1. Brian Todoroff 14 years ago

    This is a great idea I’ll have to give a shot at for the new year.  Any chance at getting the source file posted?  I’d like to be able to shift the start/midday/late an hour or two down the schedule to match my workday better.  Either that or could you post a version without the shading and labels so we can set our own hours.

    Thanks for all the great ideas and tools!

  2. Arnout Drenthel 14 years ago

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the update! I’m still using your ETP allmost daily. Keep up the good work!

    Greetings from The Netherlands and a happy new year!

  3. Daniele B. 14 years ago

    I really love this! I’ve been using the Emergent Task Planner every day for about 6 months and here I am, looking for the 2010 update. Very useful!

    I work a lot from home and a good day planning is very important to avoid wasting time, so I looked around for some elegant solution to this problem. Didn’t like the idea of using a software, I already spend most of my day in front of a screen, so I did like the idea of some “old school” hand writing… ;)

    Thank you so much for a nice little tool.


  4. Roman 14 years ago

    Thanks for these, Dave! One note—the links above for the Letter size all seem to open the black and white version.

    Thanks again.

  5. Roman 14 years ago

    Never mind. They just look black and white in Preview, but they’re printing fine. Weird.

  6. Karthik 14 years ago


    I came to know about you through lifehacker and I was very much impressed by your ETP. It would be great if you could post a sample form how to use it effectively, as you have done it in the ‘original post’.

  7. jb1654 14 years ago


    I’m just getting into looking at your productivity stuff and it’s fantastic. I was wondering if it would be possible to switch the “what else is going on today?” section back to a blank box instead of the dots?

    Love the stuff! I’m looking at the amazon store too, but the dots are there as well :(

  8. Joyce 14 years ago

    Hi David, Thanks for doing these, I’ve been using them for a year and a half and they are great!  I like how the 2010 version ETP-3HO2US has a bit more space beside each hour, I make a lot of notes in that spot and there wasn’t quite enough space on the older form I was using.  I am missing a couple of things about the EPT01-090101 version I was previously using though. I love having the day of the week option to circle, and also the variation between the hourly times (e.g. orange lunch). Thanks again!

  9. Sheila 14 years ago

    Hi David,

    I’ve been using ETP since the beginning, so I’m clearly a fan!

    I like some of the tweaks you’ve made to the language this year.

    I miss:
    * Multiple colors on the page (2007 version)
    * Open, unnumbered space under “What Else…?”

    Thanks for asking!

  10. Chris 14 years ago

    Great work David.  Beautiful as always.

  11. Pam 14 years ago

    I just found these forms this year and love them, they are helping this ADHD on track, thank you for putting these together.  I do have one request,  would it be possible to make the PDF into a form that I can complete IN adobe (since the PDF is secured)?  That would help to keep me as paperless as possible! Thank you, you’ve been a life saver!

  12. Dennis Taylor 14 years ago

    I have always struggled with time management. I stumbled across this and boy am I grateful. I’m currently using your forms and know what? I’m ACTUALLY being productive. It’s really helping me stay on task. While it’s close to perfection (for someone like me) I’m still getting myself tweaked for the other 5% that’s not normally how I think.

    Thank you, Thank you!

  13. Bunny 14 years ago

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for the updated ETP. I have a couple requests (much like the rest of the world). Please bring back the multi-color, the ability to circle the day of the week, and the 30 minute boxes.
    I, unlike everyone else, seem to like the dots in the white box but I do miss the 30 min boxes and the different colors for lunch and dinner.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  14. R. Laurel 14 years ago

    Thanks for this!
    Been using everyday for over 2 years now! Invaluable tool. I need a weekly version, is there one on here? Searching …

  15. Dave Seah 14 years ago

    Making a quick summary comment:

    * Some people don’t like dots! They’re pretty easy to ignore when printed, but it’s possible that some people are very sensitive to them. If someone would like to expand on what they don’t like about them, that would be helpful.

    * likewise with numbers! I just ignore them, but there was a time when they probably would have seemed oppressive!

    * 30 minute boxes: I miss them too. Perhaps I will bring them back.

    * multicolor: I can at least bring back the break color, though there are an equal number of people who seem to hate the idea of an enforced break, so this one might be unwin-able until I build the expanded forms center.


  16. jb1654 14 years ago


    Thanks for your response! Personally, the dots for me seem to stifle that section. I know we’re talking about organization and planning, but I’m a bit of a creative type and having a defined open space lets me doodle notes or diagrams that I need. Also, my writing form varies depending on the day, and sometimes it’s quite a bit smaller than those lines indicated. An open space lets me write however small or large I need without visual interference from numbered, dotted lines.

  17. Dave 14 years ago

    Maybe it’s me, but the letter ones, even though they are named differently, all open up green.

  18. Dave Seah 14 years ago

    jb: That’s a really useful piece of feedback…thanks! I just write without regards to the dots myself, as big or small as I need. Maybe if you think of it as a deliberate act of defying the dots instead of being compelled to work with them, it will be easier!

    Dave: Are you on a Mac? Someone earlier in the comments noted that Preview seems to have problems with displaying them properly, but they print fine.

  19. Pascal 14 years ago

    Nice work! I only wanted you to know that I’d buy a pad if it shipped to germany

  20. Marlyse Comte 14 years ago

    Really like the EMERGENT TASK PLANNER from Amazon – the sheets are great quality and give me also the back of the sheet for quick sketches… and I like the dots as I like grids (and abuse them at times also for sketching some design ideas).

  21. Justin 14 years ago

    Quick question.

    Is there a way to get this system, without using paper?? 

    I quit using a paper planner a long time ago and it was the best decision I ever made.  That alone increased my time, productivity and it allowed me to shift my life to an online calendar that integrates with all the other tools I use.  I use many of Google’s integrated suite of tools.

    But I know I can do more and I am searching for ways to become more organized and increase my productivity even more, but I prefer integrating everything into my digital life and sticking with the 21st Century.  Using a piece of paper actually is more difficult for me, because I have to remember to carry it with me where ever I go or I end up doubling up all my efforts.

    Any suggestions or any chance that this will one day be able to be done in a more paperless way??


  22. Sally 14 years ago

    I just wanted to say that I have really enjoyed these pages, though I think I like the old format better (with the schedule on the right). Any chance you could give the option of the old format for 2010 and future years?

  23. Alex 14 years ago

    A4 green is blue! :)

  24. Dave Seah 14 years ago

    Pascal: Shipping to Europe has proven to be very expensive, so I’m unable to offer it at this time. It ends up being something like $30 to ship a single pad, which seems really excessive for a $12 product.

    Marlyse: That’s great to hear! Thanks!

    Justin: Someday, this will be available in electronic form. I hear your pain…I have consolidated most of my digital life around Google Calendar, GMail, and DropBox for device-agnostic access to most of what I need to run. However, I also have a kit that consists of my “bag of stuff” where I put all my gadgets, which includes my fountain pen and a large notebook. I put the notebook and pen in the same category as my house keys: I always make sure I have it with me. I also starting to think it’s important to actually remember things, because the digital life is making us dependent on external memory aids, which bothers me.

    Sally: If enough people write me about the old format, I’ll consider it!

    Alex: If you are using a Macintosh, I’ve heard there’s a problem with using the built-in PDF viewer. I’m not sure what the cause is. I checked the downloads again here, and the colors are correct.

  25. Alex 14 years ago

    It’s true that I’m on a Mac.
    Strange though, the US Letter Green is fine. :/

  26. Dave Seah 14 years ago

    Alex: I’ve heard that if you print the file, it comes out fine. Let me know if that’s the case! I’ll have to look at this myself on my Mac, which usually runs Windows 7 from bootcamp, so I never seen the MacOS side of things :-)

  27. Justin 14 years ago

    David: OK… I have another question.  This one might be very, very useful for your carry the pen and notebook everywhere you go aspect…

    Have you heard of LiveScribe?

    Have you considered having your forms created using the Livescribe technology?  That would be very, very cool. 

    The great thing about LiveScribe is everything you write is recorded into the pen to be transferred to a computer later.  But also, you can record all the audio too, from the exact moments you were taking notes.  Then you can store those as well. 

    But your forms, with LiveScribe Technology, would be the match made in heaven.  Then you would have the digital touch, while keeping that familiar pen and paper feeling…  it’s a back-up to the things that you can forget no matter what.

    The fact remains that when you write something down, you free your mind to do other things.  (Lesson learned, over and over again, but still not always practiced in my case…)

    My problem is I typically remember everything that is important and either I do not write it down or I do write it down, but then never look at it again, because the act of writing permanently seals it into my brain or I can not find it after I have written it down. 

    The problem, is if I do not transfer that info a program, like my online calendar or some sort of a digital task reminder or note or something that I will see or can easily find, then I tend to lose or not remember where I wrote the info down.  Hence the reason I have notebooks and notepads and papers, forms, notes, planners, etc., full of info, but I am unable to keep it all organized for use later.  I spend more time, trying to locate what I wrote down that was so important than I do using what I wrote. 

    I got rid of my digital PDA for now, because it was “dumbing” me down.  It forces me to write more ‘mindmapping’ style notes and diagrams down, which is why I fill notebooks/notepads/papers/planners so quickly. 

    The things I do need to write down are the little less important things I forget and because of the ADD nature of my brain that causes me to lose track of where I am, frequently. 

    Which means, having a way to write things down, so I do not have to remember it, then transfer it to my digital active, automated, and sometimes more organized world, becomes very necessary. 

    Just a few more thoughts that may help merge that divide even sooner; while keeping to what people already know and love about your system.

  28. Maurice Visser 14 years ago

    I agree with Justin that your forms, with LiveScribe Technology, would be the match made in heaven. Will keep watching this product for technological advancements.

  29. Tom Maloney 14 years ago

    I want to get on the LiveScribe bandwagon, too!  I’ve had my pen for a month and agree that it instantly became one of my most amazing organizational tools.  Please look into having it support your planning tools!

  30. Leon 14 years ago

    great thing. using it every day.

  31. Craig 13 years ago

    I love PCEO! I have been using ETT and/or ETP with the At-A-Glance Outlink Padfolio>. It has a slide out “document tray” that easily holds a few sheets of printed paper. I put 2 or 3 blank ETT and ETP in for the week. Structured days get an ETP, less structured days get an ETT. I even made my own vertical version of ETT (functional, but not as slick) because I got tired of turning the pad sideways. All kudos to you, David.

  32. ArchiMark 13 years ago

    Excellent work, Dave!

    Any chance of releasing a version of your templates formatted for A5 paper?

    Or is there an easy way for me to make the adjustment?



  33. Author
    Dave Seah 13 years ago

    ArchiMark: An A5 / half-size version is on the backburner…probably 2011 we’ll see it!

  34. nicole 13 years ago

    Archi, try your printer settings, I know mine has a setting where you can put 2, 4 or 8 pages on one sheet.

    There also used to be a free tool for printing multiple pages on one sheet of paper, but I can’t remember what it was called, maybe try google if your printer doesn’t have that setting?

  35. Stacy 13 years ago

    Just came across your Emergent Task Planner and wow! Very cool, very useful. Thank you!

  36. Andre Reis 13 years ago

    Hey Dave, for some reason the US Letter versions are all blue. Check it out. Cheers

    • Andre Reis 13 years ago

      Nevermind, same problem as other users have. Now they’re all black for some reason, how odd.

  37. mindagile 13 years ago

    May i downloads a papers of A5 size,I can’t found out A5,thanks